Would he wish me on my birthday? Right before the 4th of July? I bet he don’t even care.
“O you who believe, you are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness…And live with them honorably. If you dislike them, it maybe that you dislike a thing and Allāh brings through it a great deal of good.” (Qurʾān, 4:19)
By now the news of the pregnant Pakistani woman who was stoned (first shot at and then bricks taken from a construction site were used to bludgeon her to death), in the name of “honor killing”, is front-page news across the world. It is no surprise that even if the headlines didn’t mention “Islam” or “Muslims”, in the minds of people Muslims easily replace “Pakistanis” and honor killing is automatically linked to Islam.
Statistics show that Pakistan is the third most dangerous country for women to live in[i]. How’s that for a country claiming to live by the traditions of Prophet Muḥammad, whose last advice to men of his nation was
“Treat your women well and be kind to them”.
While Pakistan’s majority population is Muslim, it is evident to anyone who has studied Islam even superficially that the culture and especially its treatment towards women is far from Islamic teachings.
Farzana Parveen, the victim, was married to a man of her own choice with whom she had been engaged for a long time. Her family had objections (money was the main motive according to the husband) and they wanted to marry her off to someone of their choice, against her will.
While the concept of forced marriage and unnecessary objections to a daughter’s choice for marriage remains a common practice in Pakistan, it is completely unacceptable in Islam.
Women & Forced Marriage
While marriages where daughters are forced to marry a man picked by the family—including in the educated families—remain common in Pakistan, Islam abolished forced marriages 1400 years ago.
The Prophet, said, “A matron shouldn’t be given in marriage until she is consulted, and a virgin shouldn’t be given in marriage until her permission is sought…” (Tirmidhi: 1107)
Moreover, forced marriages are annulled in Islam:
“A virgin came to the Prophet, , and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, so the Prophet, , allowed her to exercise her choice. (Abu Dawud)
Woman’s Right to Marry of her Own Choice
Traditionally in Pakistan, it is considered against an honorable girl’s character to pick a man of her own choice or to insist on marrying someone she likes. “Good girls don’t talk about their marriage” is a motto for respectable girls.
However, Islam gives the girl full right to choose her own life partner and, if needed, she has full freedom to convince her parents to allow her to marry the man she likes.
1400 years ago when the Prophet sent Julaybib to a girl’s house so he could marry her, her parents didn’t like Julaybib. He was not good looking and the parents didn’t consider him suitable for their daughter. However, the daughter (whose name remains unknown) took a stand and convinced her parents to allow her to marry the man Prophet had sent for her. Classical works on marriage are full of her story of bravery[ii].
When Two People Love Each Other
Keeping everything aside, Islam on the other hand encourages Muslims to allow two people to marry who are in love with each other:
“There is nothing like marriage, for two people who love one another.” (Ibn Majah: 1847)
(Taken from: www.muslimmatters.org)
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